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Like Dandelion Dust Review

For Families provided by Common Sense Media

Iffy for 14+

Moving adoption drama tackles alcoholism, family violence.

What Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Like Dandelion Dust deals with mature themes: domestic abuse, alcoholism, and adoption. While most of the actual violence isn't shown on screen, the resulting injuries -- both physical and emotional -- are on display throughout (including a cowering wife, a father pushing and squeezing his son until he's bruised, etc.). A main character is an alcoholic struggling with sobriety; he smokes heavily, and, in at least one scene, he drinks until he's very drunk. The film is based on a novel by well-known Christian author Karen Kingsbury and has faith-oriented undertones.

  • Families can talk about alcoholism and its effects on the families of the alcoholic. Do you think this movie portrays alcoholism accurately? What resources are available for families or kids affected by alcoholism in your community? Is teen drinking a problem where you live?
  • Characters in the movie end up breaking the law in order to do what they think is the right thing. Did they have to face consequences for theiractions? Should they? Is there ever a good reason to break the law?

The good stuff
  • message true3

    Messages: The movie's message is that the truest form of parental love is putting your child's welfare above your self interest. Also, recovery and rehabilitation from substance abuse isn't an easy process and takes determination, faith, and patience. And there are often setbacks, which require renewed efforts on the part of an abuser and their family.

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    Role models: Two of the four parental figures in this film are caring, well-adjusted, and responsible most of the time. Another is loving, but inexperienced and ignorant of the full-range of commitment necessary. The fourth is an alcoholic whose problems overpower his desire to be a good parent. All of them come face-to-face with their limitations and ultimately are able to do the right thing for their child. The social services agency of the local government is portrayed as efficient, sensitive and having the best interests of the families at heart.

What to watch for
  • violence false2

    Violence: A leading character's injuries from spousal abuse are revealed after an attack. A brief tussle between two men results in a fall and facial injuries. A father roughly squeezes the arms of a 6-year-old boy during a heated argument. The same man shatters a mirror with his fist and reaches out to hit his wife as a scene ends.

  • sex false0

    Sex: Not an issue

  • language false1

    Language: "Pee," "butt."

  • consumerism false1

    Consumerism: Apple computer logo is visible.

  • drugsalcoholtobacco false4

    Drinking, drugs and smoking: Alcohol abuse and recovery are major story points. The alcoholic at the heart of this film can't maintain his sobriety and drinks heavily in several scenes. He also smokes throughout. Other characters drink wine in social settings.